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Post-Game Breakdown: Victory Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Whew.  That one was big.  Again, I hate to be hyperbolic, but I honestly think yesterday's game may well have been a season-saver.  Not "We've still got a shot at the playoffs" season-saving, but definitely "We're not going to go 5-11" season-saving.  And after the tremendously inconsistent/maddening football your Houston Texans have treated their fans to since Week Three, I'll take it.  Fans of the Colts or Pats might not understand it (though they should, as there certainly was a time in the not-so-distant past they weren't sitting atop the NFL), but fans of the Houston Texans can appreciate the notion that 4-5 is worlds better than 3-6.  So while beating the team that had the league's worst record last year might not be reason to start printing playoff tickets, it is cause to go into the bye week with a renewed sense of optimism.  To the extent possible, the Texans have almost two (2) weeks to get healthy and figure out how to slow down the Saints.  Given the peaks and valleys we've seen thus far in the 2007 campaign, we should be thrilled.  Without further ado, some thoughts from the Sage Sunday Special:

  1.  As good as the win was, the loss of Dunta Robinson was an unmitigated catastrophe.  I think he's been the most valuable player on the entire team this year.  We've devoted considerable energy to lamenting the play of Petey Faggins, and there's no doubt that he's been terrible.  But try to wrap your mind around how bad the Houston secondary would have fared without Dunta.  It's enough to make you purchase stock in Jack Daniels.  Now, what was easily the greatest weakness of the team has been exacerbated exponentially.  Your Houston Texans will now likely feature a starting CB tandem of a rookie (Fred Bennett, who notched his first career pick in spectacular fashion yesterday; simply perfect coverage and then goading McCown into the throw) and the equivalent of your great-grandmother (Petey).
  2.  I just threw up in my mouth.  Seriously...Bennett (who I love, but who is still a rookie and thus prone to mistakes) and Faggins.  It's like a genie granted Drew Brees one wish, and he said, "Screw the homeless.  I want to throw for 1,000 yards in a single game!"
  3.  Not to dwell on this whole DB thing, but here's a thought:  Move Von Hutchins to CB and start Will Demps at FS.  Demps looked good yesterday, and the PI call that was charged to him was complete and total BS.  Doesn't a secondary of Bennett, Hutchins, Demps, and Brown give you the best chance to hold the opposition under 500 yards passing per game?
  4.  Danny Clark played like a man possessed yesterday, and he more or less admitted that his departure from Oakland doesn't sit well with him, even two (2) years after the fact.  Guess what other team unceremoniously parted company with Clark?  That's right--New Orleans.  Here's hoping that Danny has a little something extra for them too.
  5.  Another solid effort by Travis Johnson.  I'll say no more about it.  Don't want to jinx anything.
  6.  Reason 3,498 that stats don't tell the whole story:  Super Mario only had one (1) tackle.  But anyone who watched the game saw him running all over the field.  On one play in particular, he nearly chased down a RB from behind WHEN THE PLAY WAS GOING AWAY FROM HIS SIDE.  Opposing offenses had better pray he doesn't develop any more.
  7.  Although the Texans only registered one sack (Viva Okoye!) on the afternoon, Josh McCown took some freaking shots.  The Oakland offensive line may be a sieve, but it was nice to see the Texans get some pressure in the backfield.
  8.  Still not enough blitzes.  C'mon, Richard Smith.
  9.  Instant replay says LaMont Jordan didn't catch the ball before DeMeco picked it.  So what does DeMeco do?  He re-intercepts it on the very next play.  Why didn't Kubes ask him to bless Dunta after Dunta got chopped in two?  I'm pretty sure DeMeco has the same powers as The Golden Child.
  10.  I thought the days of ten-yard punts ended with Chad Stanley's release.  I guess I was wrong.
  11.  Sage Rosenfels is Australian for "workmanlike."  That INT was horrid, but the TD pass to Apostrophe Davis was as good as it gets.
  12.  GREAT to see the offense pound the ball yesterday.  Given Sage's jitters and the dire implications of yesterday's game, the nearly 2:1 run/pass ratio was a necessary and welcome call. The offensive line, after weeks of looking like "inept" might again be a proper adjective for their play, answered the bell in a big way.
  13.  In honor of Ron Dayne turning back the clock with a 21 carry, 122 yard, 1 TD performance, I listened to "Mambo No. 5" after the game.  This millennium is overrated anyway.
  14.  I've decided Ahman Green's mission in life is to tantalize us with flashes of brilliance (witness that 53 yard reception on what was a total give-up screen play on third down) but to never actually deliver anything of substance.  He's the Texans' version of a lap dance.
  15.  Funny how winning the turnover battle results in a win.
  16.  Fake Game Balls:  Offense--The Dayne Trayne.  Defense--Danny Clark.  Special Teams--Kris Brown.
Given what will probably be a relative lack of hard news during the bye week, the posts this week will have a decidedly interactive tilt.  For example, start thinking of your least favorite Texan of all time, your best Texans moment, and things of that ilk.  In the meantime, I'm off to read up on reattaching hamstrings.